Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 73

My timing is off

I have been a little confused of late…….

When I say “I’ll meet you at half past seven” and an American friend looks at me blankly, now I know that this is not because:

a) it is an inconvenient time, or

b) they don’t actually want to meet me (as far as I am aware), or

c) that I have committed a social faux pas by even suggesting we meet.

It is, in fact, because the Americans I have met so far don’t use the quarter past, half past, quarter to in order to refer to times. An interesting difference between us, I think you’ll agree.

So, to clarify, “I’ll meet you at seven fifteen [7.15]” should elicit a positive response from my American friend/s, and if it does not then I know that either a), b) or c) has come in to play and perhaps I should not bother pursuing this friendship anymore.

Awesome update

Some blog followers were compelled to comment on my blog about awesomeness (see chapter 72), and it is always super lovely to get comments and feedback, so if you haven’t commented or fed back to me, please do so, because it makes me feel all warm inside.

Anyhow, ThatOtherGuy commented as such:

One thing to remember: even the mildest approval must be described as “awesome” or else it’s seen as damnint with faint praise .i.e. “How was dinner last night?”“Good.”“You didn’t like it?”

How awesome is that!! I found this very amusing 🙂

My father also commented thus:

That is called “adjective creep” or excessive hyperbole. The reverse is Litotes (look it up) when we talk of going across the pond from England to the US. Language is so loverley!

How super to learn something new. Also, Litotes sounds like the perfect name for a Huskie dog or a racehorse 🙂

Out of interest, in the world of awesome, Harry’s martial arts group shout at the end of their session: “We are Lil’ [not Little] Dragons, and we are TEAM AWESOME!” In my opinion, if they were to shout “….we are TEAM SUPER/GREAT/BRILLIANT” it would sound a bit rubbish and half-hearted, and so there is a place for awesome, and it is, I am sure my father would agree, in America 😉

Language barriers

Harry made an excellent observation the other day that the cartoon character, SpongeBob Square Pants would not sound half as funny it he were called SpongeBob Square Trousers. Very, very true.


Whilst Harry has adjusted to calling trousers pants, there are some other phrases that I cannot bring myself to use. This particular phrase is also used by adult to adult, not just child to adult, and I just can’t get my head round it…..

For “I’ve just got to nip for a wee” (perfectly adequate British saying), they use instead “I gotta go potty / go pee-pee”. I can’t do this, sorry. I shall “nip for a wee” rather than “go pee-pee” every time (not right now, though, you understand). And don’t get me started on the use of “poopie”……. 🙂

Martin O’Malley updates

I think it’s time we had an update on the God-like, incredibly handsome, rock and roll genius that is the Governor of Maryland.

Recently Martin O’Malley has been all about schools and is investing in rejigging temporary learning shacks where there should have been modern classrooms. He says: “We pledged to do everything in our power to put our children in state-of-the-art, 21st century schools. That’s why, even in the toughest of times, we invested to make this a reality. Today, we announced that we’ve chosen to invest another $336 million in school construction in the budget we’re submitting to the General Assembly this week.

Excellent, good job etc. I bow to thee.

But enough of the politics, has he been rocking that guitar, ladies and gents?

Prepare to be dazzled by this man’s never-ending gift.

martin and jeff

Yes, that really is himself with Jeff Bridges, the most excellent actor, rehearsing for Carolinafest. Sigh, how I wish I had been there.

I also must share with you this photo of Martin and his lovely family. Boy, can that man rock a V-neck sweater without a shirt, and there aren’t many men who can. Fabulousness.

Martin's family

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14 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 73

  1. ThatOtherGuy says:

    By now I’m sure you’ve heard someone talk about The Wire. It’s a tv series that was on HBO a few years ago and it’s all about Baltimore. The gangs, the cops, the politicians and the schools. Each season focuses on one of them and it is, IMNHO the best TV show ever made. Full stop (as you lot say). There is a politician called Carcetti is partially based on O’Malley.

  2. salpal1 says:

    hey! I am American, and I know what half past means – but I think you are right that younger folk do not use this – I blame digital clocks. The teens in my family truly do not understand quarter to the hour. very strange.

  3. Darlene Mik says:

    Regarding the time: i would guess that Americans 45 & older use quarter past, half past, etc.
    That’s I was taught to read time as a child. Today, I find most young peeps don’t even wear a watch because they just look t their phone. I am completely lost without my watch wardrobe!

  4. Darlene Mik says:

    Sorry for the spelling mishaps 😉

  5. Andrew says:

    I love Martin! He’s “totes” cute! And what about Ken Ullman? Our county executive has dimples to die for! I’m in my early 30’s. and I use quarter past, half past, etc. Possibly because I grew up watching “Are you being served?”, “Eastenders”, and “Good Neighbours” on PBS.? Lol. Welcome to “The HC”!

  6. Pingback: Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 115 | ukdesperatehousewifeusa

  7. Pingback: Annapolis Gets a Visit From the Desperate English Housewife - Baltimore Post-Examiner

  8. john says:

    So is 7:20 a third past seven?

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